10 Great Quotes About Poetry and Writing by Charles Simic


“The secret wish of poetry is to stop time.”

“We name one thing and then another. That’s how time enters poetry. Space, on the other hand, comes into being through the attention we pay to each word. The more intense our attention, the more space, and there’s a lot of space inside words.”

“Here in the United States, we speak with reverence of authentic experience. We write poems about our daddies taking us fishing and breaking our hearts by making us throw the little fish back into the river. We even tell the reader the kind of car we were driving, the year and the model, to give the impression that it’s all true. It’s because we think of ourselves as journalists of a kind. Like them, we’ll go anywhere for a story. Don’t believe a word of it. As any poet can tell you, one often sees better with eyes closed than with eyes wide open.”

“One writes because one has been touched by the yearning for and the despair of ever touching the Other.”

“Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat and the poet is only the bemused spectator.”

“Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.”

A poem is an invitation to a voyage. As in life, we travel to see fresh sights.”

“The religion of the short poem, in every age and in every literature, has a single commandment: Less is always more. The short poem rejects preamble and summary. It’s about all and everything, the metaphysics of a few words surrounded by much silence. …The short poem is a match flaring up in a dark universe.”

“I’m not a stickler for truth. To me, lying in poetry is much more fun. I’m against lying in life, in principle, in any other activity except poetry.”

“I do believe that a poem needs to remind the reader of his or her own humanity, of what they are, of what they’re capable of. Awaken them, in a sense, to the fact that there’s a world in front of their eyes, that they have a body, they’re going to die, the sky is beautiful, it’s fun to be in a grassy field when the sun is shining—those kinds of things.”

– Charles Simic



4 thoughts on “10 Great Quotes About Poetry and Writing by Charles Simic

  1. I really enjoyed your post! The reflection becoming space in poetry is so true. I loved this line in your poem…. “Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! i really wish I wrote that line because I love it too. I believe it comes from one of Charles Simic’s essays in his collection called either An Uncertain Certainty or A Certain Uncertainty (i can never remember which).😊

      Liked by 1 person

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